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Balancing Professional And Personal Life To Achieve Significance In An Academic Career

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade Outside of Class

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.261.1 - 8.261.11



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Paper Authors

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William Jordan

author page

Bill Elmore

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1475

Balancing Professional and Personal Life to Achieve Significance in an Academic Career

William Jordan and Bill Elmore College of Engineering and Science Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA 71272


We encourage new engineering faculty members to seek significance, not just success. Success is often defined by numbers (numbers of publications, dollars of research funding, performance on student evaluations). Significance is harder to define. We suggest that a professor has obtained some degree of significance when he is consistently living within his principles, achieving the results he wants to achieve in his professional and personal life. On the professional side of life, significance frequently means having an important impact upon our students, our university, and/or our research field.

We develop a number of strategies that will help a new professor to achieve professional and personal significance in his life, while still performing at the standards required to get tenure and promotion. To be able to do this, the professor first needs to truly understand who he is and what he really wants to accomplish in his academic career. The next step is for him to understand what his university really wants him to do. Once these two crucial tasks have been done, we develop strategies for increasing the significance of a young professor’s teaching and research. This involves setting realistic goals and using good time management techniques to obtain them. We suggest methods whereby a professor can accomplish more than one task at the same time. Examples include how to combine teaching and research, how to combine consulting and teaching, and how to combine personal and professional activities. There are other strategies that will be described in this paper that can help to increase a professor’s significance. This paper will help assistant professors develop a plan to increase their significance while still getting tenure.

Rationale for paper

Our basic rationale for this paper is that new engineering faculty members should seek to have a

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Copyright 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Jordan, W., & Elmore, B. (2003, June), Balancing Professional And Personal Life To Achieve Significance In An Academic Career Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11441

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